Dr. Samer Ellahham

Dr. Samer Ellahham

Medical Director of the Continuous Improvement Department, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi


Dr. Ellahham is currently Cleveland Clinic Caregiver, Cleveland, US seconded as Senior Cardiovascular Consultant, Medical Director of Continuous Improvement and Director of Accreditation in the Quality and Safety Institute in Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. He is Clinical Professor at Gulf Medical University. He is the Middle East Regional Chair, Patient Safety Movement Foundation, ISQua Expert, AHA Hospital Accreditation Science Committee, Member, European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Writing Group, Member, ex-Middle East Representative of the JCI Standards Subcommittee and American College of Cardiology Accreditation Foundation Board, Member.

Dr. Ellahham received his undergraduate degree in biology and his M.D. from The American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. Dr. Ellahham finished his internal medicine residency at Georgetown University Hospital – Washington Hospital Center and his fellowship in Cardiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in the USA. Dr. Ellahham worked in Washington DC at Georgetown University Hospital – Washington Hospital Center and in several clinical and leadership positions before moving to UAE in 2008.

Dr. Ellahham continues to be an active clinician. He demonstrates great skill and experience in the management of patients with heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and valvular heart disease and led a multi-disciplinary team in the care and delivery of advanced therapies to these patients. He has unique abilities to partner and engages local and regional referring providers. He can work in a highly matrixed environment, possess strong leadership and organizational skills, and have the experience of working effectively in a large health system. He led the First AHA GWTG Heart Failure Initiative outside the US and was the recipient of the AHA GWTG Award in Wash. DC. He is the champion of the AHA GWTG in the region.

Dr. Ellahham has served as Chief Quality Officer for SKMC from 2009 till 2017. In his role, he has led the development of a quality and program that has been successful and visible and has been recognized internationally by several awards. As Chief Quality Officer and Global Healthcare Leader, he had a focus on ensuring that the implementation of these best practices leads to breakthrough improvements in clinical quality, patient safety, patient experience, and risk management.

Dr. Ellahham was the Executive SKMC sponsor of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) the leading US validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care. SKMC is the first multispecialty ACS NSQIP center outside the US. He led the publication of, first in the region, annual SKMC outcome books since 2011and he is a strong believer in transparency in health care and external reporting. He was the leader of the First Pilot International Robust Process Improvement (RPI) project by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare and several other similar successful performance improvement projects at SKMC.

Dr. Ellahham is American Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Vascular Medicine, and American Board of Medical Quality. He was recently recertified in 2017 by the American Board of Cardiology (ABIM). He is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) by The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), certified in Medical Quality (CMQ) by The American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ), certified as EFQM Model assessor and Lead Trainer in TeamSTEPPS.

Dr. Ellahham is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, and American College of Medical Quality. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a key member of Heart Failure and Transplant, Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology, Cardio-oncology, Innovation, Quality, and Peripheral Vascular Disease Sections. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the New Westminster College in British Columbia, Canada, and Advisory Board Member, the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

Dr. Ellahham was the Middle East Representative of the JCI Standards Subcommittee and Member on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. He was a reviewer of HCAC Cardiac Quality and Safety Standards.

Dr. Ellahham has been a champion and leader of the use of Lean, Six Sigma and Change Management to improve healthcare quality and has numerous publications in this area. He is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certified. He is an American Society of Quality (ASQ) trainer in Lean and Six Sigma both green and black belt. He is ISQua Expert.

Dr. Ellahham is a recognized innovative leader in quality, safety, patient experience, artificial intelligence, blockchain, telehealth, clinical cardiology, and the use of robust performance improvement in improving healthcare delivery. He serves on several US and international prestigious committees and advisory bodies.

He is the Middle East Regional Chair of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. He received several research awards including the DuPont Pharmaceuticals Research Award, ACCP 58th Annual Scientific Assembly, Young Investigator Award; the Alfred Soffer Research Award, ACCP 58th Annual Scientific Assembly, Finalist; the First Young Investigator Award 12th, Annual Meeting of the Mediterranean Association of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines Award, SKMC Infection Prevention Award in 2011 and 2012, Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award in 2014, Quality Leadership Award from the World Quality Congress and Awards, Business Leadership Excellence Award from World Leadership Congress in 2015, one the nominees for Safe Care magazine Person of the Year in the United States, Dubai Quality Award in 2015 and Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Golden Award in 2015.

Dr. Ellahham is an avid researcher; his research includes heart failure, acute coronary syndromes, frailty, dyslipidemia, accreditation, second victim phenomenon, resilience, innovation, artificial intelligence, telehealth, blockchain, patient flow, patient experience and engagement, lean-six sigma, patient safety, bowtie risk management tool and KPI management. He is a recognized world-leader in these fields.

He is the Eminent Editor of The Journal of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Therapy and the associate editor of the American Journal of Medical Quality. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of Journal of Thoracic Disease and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Developments in Clinical & Medical Pathology (DCMP), the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Telehealth and Medicine Today (TMT), Blockchain journal (BHTY), Medical Science, Open Journal of Cardiatic Research, UPI Journal of Pharmaceutical, Medical and Health Sciences (UPI-JPMHS, Open Access Research in Anatomy, Gerontology & Geriatrics studies and Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials, Hypertension Today Journal. Focus on Hypertension Journal, Journal of Heart Health, Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Scientific Research, and Community, Journal of Surgery and Surgical Procedures, EC Cardiology, Journal of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Medicine, and Canadian Journal of Biomedical Research. He is also a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, Chest, Circulation, Clinical Cardiology, Chest, Lancet, Diabetes Care, Archives of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, European Journal of Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure Journal, Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, the Journal of Transplant Coordination, the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and the Southern Medical Journal, European Journal of Innovation Management, The Anatolian Journal of Cardiology, npj Digital Medicine and Health Informatics Journal.

Dr. Ellahham enjoys volunteering, tennis, healthy lifestyle, innovation, teaching, and future health.